Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hip surgery: Background info

I know it's been forever since blogging but a friend of mine (Hi Kristen!) said I should blog about my hip surgery since she'll be going through the same thing soon. So here I am.

So here's the background info. When I was pregnant with Bridget 8 years ago, I started noticing that my knee would sometimes buckle when going upstairs. Scary! I didn't think much of it, I was pregnant, awkward, and thought it just was a part of pregnancy. Plus, after that split second of knee-buckling, everything went back to normal. That happened a few times while pregnant. After Bridget was born, all was well. A few times over the next few years I'd have that knee-buckling experience coupled with some mild hip pain but really nothing that alarmed me. Once pregnant with the triplets, things got WAY worse. I found myself limping at times, knee giving out on stairs and mild hip pain. Two summers ago I also took on the couch to 5K program, lost 25-30 lbs, but destroyed my hip. That's when I started seeing doctors.

The first doctor I was referred to was a back specialist. He was a moron and was basically asking me what I thought the diagnosis was! Seriously, he showed me my MRI and asked me what I thought of it. I high-tailed it out of his office and was referred to a orthopedic surgeon. This gal was very aggressive and was ready to schedule me for surgery right away. She thought there was a labral tear and was talking possible hip replacement. Well at the time, I wasn't ready to go the surgery route, so she referred me to a pain management doctor. I went through several injections of cortisone in order to pinpoint the exact location of the pain. Oddly enough, the location that gave me the most relief was an injection near the top-center of my thigh. So I spent about a year with that doc, never really getting complete relief from my pain.

 I hit my low point when Shawn and I went to Seattle for a wedding. We did a lot of walking, and the one night we were walking to our hotel and every step felt like a knife was being jabbed into my hip. It was horrible and the Naproxen gave me no relief. A couple days after returning from Seattle I got another injection and that helped. Then I got sick, and saw my regular doctor who asked if my hip was fixed yet, and when I told her my story, she referred me to a fourth doctor. He was supposed to be the best hip guy in our area. So I think it was in November when I started seeing Dr. Dworsky. New MRI and X-rays were ordered. He said I have bad bone structure. The ball of my hip sits about 90% into the socket when the average person is at about 50%. He sent me to consult with the back specialist just to be sure that my back wasn't playing into this at all. The back doctor said my back is good, even though I have a couple of compressed discs (he said almost everyone has compressed discs by 40), they weren't touching any nerves and that my back was in good shape. Yeah! So, back to Dr. Dworsky...we did two cortisone injections that helped quite a bit. He said the pain management doctor was injecting me with too little cortisone. He said the amount of cortisone I was given would be enough to stitch up a finger, not enough to reduce inflammation in a joint. Great! So Dworsky's injections took me to early May.

Then we decided to fix what's broke instead of trying to mask the pain. With the school year coming to an end, getting it done as soon as school was out would allow me to recover over the summer break. We also planned to have the kids in summer camp at the Joliet Park District for the entire month of June, so that we wouldn't have to worry about them being underfoot while I got back on my feet. Anyway, Dworsky's plan was to do a scope on my hip, shave off any bone spurs that might be there to allow more movement of the joint. He wasn't going to take me from 90% impacted to 50%, but he'd give my bones more room to move properly. He suspected that the labrum was being pinched between the bones as well, causing pain and inflammation. If the labrum was torn, he'd repair it. If the labrum was separated from the bone, he'd reattach it. Those were the things he'd have to see about once he got inside my leg. He also said that the separation would be the worst case scenario. If he had to reattach the labrum, I would have to be non-weight-bearing and no twisting for the first several days. He said recovery would be slower at first but the overall timeline of 6 weeks of Physical Therapy would stay the same. With any of the listed procedures, I should expect to pretty much do nothing the first few days, start 6 weeks of physical therapy within 5-7 days post-op, crutches for about 2 weeks, and stitches out at 2 weeks.

 I had to go a week prior to surgery without any pain medication. (I was taking 500 mg of Naproxen twice a day) That was tough, and each day got a little more painful. Saturday was the worst! But then Sunday and Monday were really good days, which was weird since Sunday we had the kids' birthday party and I wasn't exactly resting. Monday was busy too. I finished up all the laundry in the house and got things in order for my recovery. So I don't know why I wasn't in more pain, but hey, I'll take it. Monday was the kids' first day of camp. They go from 9 am to 4 pm. This was Bridget's 4th year of camp, and the triplet's first year of camp. They all said they had a lot of fun! Liam even thanked me for sending him to camp this summer. It was sweet! But boy were they TIRED when they got home. Allison spent the night since Uncle Marc was coming over to watch the kids while Shawn got me to the hospital Tuesday morning.

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